TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT: Austin, Texas, leading adoption of new public transportation technology

Report demonstrates increasing importance of public transportation, urges lawmakers onboard

Transportation Management News U.S. Public Interest Research Group February 05, 2015
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A new report from the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) assesses the use of advanced transportation technology in 70 cities across the U.S., with Austin, Texas, leading all others in adopting new resources.
The PIRG report focuses on 11 up-and-coming technologies changing public transportation, including ridesharing, real-time transit information, mobile ticketing, and electronic hailing services.
Austin was the only city currently using all 11 services, with a total of 18 service providers. San Francisco and Washington, D.C., were close behind at 10 of 11 while eight cities are currently using 9 of the 11 services.
Cities were grouped into three categories based on the availability of new technologies. Nineteen cities offer “Abundant Choices,” meaning at least some residents have access to all or nearly all of the described services. Thirty-five cities are categorized with “Growing Choices” and the remaining 16 are considered “Emerging Choices,” where less than half of the technologies are currently available.
The report serves as a call to action for lawmakers, encouraging measures to support further adoption, including:

  • Greater clarity in regulations, particularly for services such as ridesharing;
  • Creation of new payment mechanisms usable across multiple forms of public transportation; and
  • Adoption of more open-data and open-source software policies
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